Reuel Golden, who was the senior editor of the world's largest magazine for professional photographers, the New York-based
Photo District News, says in the introduction of his book Photojournalim: 150 Years of Outstanding Photography, "At its most basic definition, photojournalism is the presentation of stories through photographs--photojournalists are journalists with cameras."
While many students would not consider themselves to be reporters or journalists every day in class, I think this idea is a good description of what I am hoping to have students become through this writing unit. I want the students to present their ideas in writing stories with the assistance and through the photographs they will be working with.
Mark Hancock, an award-winning staff photojournalist for
The Dallas Morning News
The Beaumont Enterprise
who writes a blog on photojournalism, goes a step further to help visualize what a photojournalist really is. "A journalist tells stories. A photographer takes pictures of nouns (people, places and things). A photojournalist takes the best of both and locks it into the most powerful medium available -- frozen images."
Even though this is a writing workshop and not photography class, I think it is very important for the students to see the power of a photograph. With the photographs that the students are going to be using in their writing they will be able to report out and share details from a time and place that have meaning for them.
Photographers take pictures of nouns (people, places and things). Photojournalists shoot action verbs (kicks, explodes, cries, etc.).
The students are going to be using their photographs to put those verbs on paper. While a photojournalist is telling a story through photos, the students will be telling their stories with support from a photo, making them more journalists than photojournalists.
In the preface of
Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach
Kenneth Kobre says, "Today, more crucial than ever, is the JOURNALISM in photojournalism."
By saying that he is reiterating how important it is for students to know how to write. We need to be able to tell the story along with the picture. Growing photojournalists in the classroom will help to get the students excited about their writing and in turn do wonderful work in writing workshop.